Employees and customers of failed department store chain BHS have been reacting angrily this morning after it emerged that the British government has WITHDRAWN its proposed bail-out package to keep the business afloat. According to a spokesperson for the Department of Business and Pensions, the package was withdrawn when a senior minister realised that the ‘B’ in BHS doesn’t stand for ‘Bank’ – unions have slammed the announcement. 

The full DBP statement read: ‘Due to unforeseen circumstances, we regret that we have been forced to withdraw our proposed bail-out and rescue package for the entire BHS retail business. During our due diligence process, an advisor to one of our senior ministers discovered that the ‘B’ in ‘BHS’ stands for ‘British’ and not ‘Bank’ – unfortunately it is not this government’s remit to step in and rescue businesses that are not beloved financial institutions. We will continue to provide moral support and informal advice to those affected by the £798 bazillion pound black hole in the pension fund, but beyond that we regret that our hands are tied on this occasion.’

A junior official added: ‘While we understand that a lot of hard-working people are going to be worried about what the future holds for themselves and their families, the general public needs to understand that as a government we need to be incredibly careful about how we intervene in the private sector. Thankfully there are food banks and other welfare-based elements of society in place to help retail workers in need, but there are still no Cocaine and Moët distribution centres for bankers who have fallen upon hard times – as a caring and responsible government we are working very hard to put this right and create a Britain where we truly are all in it together.’

Shelley Dubrovnik was recently laid off from the BHS store in Southend On Sea, and she said that she agreed with the ‘firm but fair’ U-turn by the DBP. She added: ‘When Lloyds Bank was saved from the brink of disaster, I remember sitting there and feeling relieved that a long-standing British business institution was being saved from total destruction. Now that BHS is being wound down, the Great British public will be treated to a wide variety of new and exciting retail additions on every High Street. I have already heard that there are plans in place to turn the vacant Southend site into the world’s biggest phone case shop, and if they are hiring native English speakers I will be first in the queue when vacancies are posted.’